All the Alternatives – 5 of the Best Alternatives to Breast Milk
Breastfeeding is promoted to most expectant mothers all throughout their pregnancy. The “magic of breast milk” is often hinted at by nurses and midwives as the best and only way to nourish your baby.
We have become so prone to thinking that breast milk is all we need to nourish growing babies that it’s rare for parents to think of finding alternatives to it.
While there is no denying that breast milk is the best form of sustenance for an infant, there are a lot of great alternatives to turn to if you cannot supply breast milk.
- High-Quality Baby Formula
While many parents are reluctant to opt for this alternative, the best baby formula can lead to a happy, well-fed, and nourished child. Plus, it is easier to access than donated breast milk.
Once you’ve found the ideal formula for your little one, you can rest assured that they’ll grow just as well as breastfed babies. To put your mind at ease, it helps to research all the ingredients used in different types of baby formula so you can settle on the option that makes you feel the most comfortable.
- Donated Breast Milk
If you want to give your child breast milk but are unable to supply it yourself, you can always visit a milk bank where many mothers donate their surplus. Every mother who donates to a milk bank must undergo a rigorous testing process before being deemed fit enough to offer their milk.
Once mothers become confirmed milk donors, they are advised on how to pump breast milk and the necessary storage procedures. Milk is stored according to well-researched pasteurization methods to eliminate germs and ensure your child gets a safe and healthy product.
- Homemade Formula
While many parents may cringe at the idea of making their own formula, it’s actually quite easy. All you need to make this type of formula is a milk base to which nutrients can be added.
If you’re already sold on the idea of making your own formula, remember to do your research on it first. It is also recommended that you speak to your pediatrician before settling on anything.
- Organic Formula
While coconut milk and hemp milk are excellent options for babies, it’s best to go the organic route when it comes to plant-based milk. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your baby’s organic formula is made from only the finest ingredients, without any of the nasty preservatives that are often found in baby food.
So long as you have your pediatrician’s approval, there is no harm in starting your baby with an organic plant-based alternative from the outset.
- Goat’s Milk
According to experts, goat milk is as close as it gets to breast milk because it’s rich in the same beneficial fats that are found in human breast milk. While feeding goat’s milk to babies is all well and good, it’s important to research it properly before you go ahead.
Goat’s milk tends to lack the folic acid and vitamin B12 that babies need. However, it remains very appealing because it’s easier to digest than cow’s milk. For best results, you may want to only start your baby on goat milk after they reach 6 months of age.
Of all the nutrient-rich alternatives to breast milk, nothing beats a high-quality baby formula that has been tested for safety and nutritional value. As always, consult with your baby’s doctor before making any milk-related decisions to be sure that you’re on the right track.